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APW Book Tour: L.A.


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

The Amazing Wonderful Fabulous & Kind Team—Photographers: Chi-Ling Wang, Jessica Schilling & Rory GordonEvent Venue: Vroman’s Cardstore * Special Thanks: Dana of the Broke Ass BrideBecca, and Tabitha for introducing, organizing and providing the food and decorations! *

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: L.A. | A Practical Wedding

Oh LA. The last stop on the tour, my other hometown stop (Brooklyn was the first), and it was just what it should have been. It was sort of perfect, really. When we showed up, we were ushered into the back room, which will go down in history as the coolest back room ever. At first I noticed that they had a sort of inspiration board on the wall, and then I walked over and said, “Oh! These are a bunch of 100 Layer Cake boards! They have stuff from my friends hung on the wall!” and Rory poked her head up from behind the camera and said, “Well, you run with one very cool crowd.” I sort of startled when she said that, thinking about how much I wanted to be friends with a bunch of creative awesome women a few years ago, and how much that dream has blossomed into a reality.

Because LA was all about creative women and amazing friends. Tamera of Verhext was in town from Vermont, and she showed up to hang out with me in the back room before I went on. Dana of The Broke-Ass Bride introduced me (and almost started crying while she did it, how sweet is that?). And along with Becca of Stumble and Leap and Tabitha of Glitter & Ganache, those girls pulled the whole thing together into a P-A-R-T-Y. Becca brought food and booze and organization, and Tabitha masterminded the decorations. And that wasn’t even all. The topper on the cake was that friends that I’ve known since childhood (some of whom I hadn’t seen in twelve years or more) showed up, and my parents were there, and some of David’s family were there, and everyone cheered me on. It was magic.

All that, before I even started speaking. The LA event wasn’t huge (which was the perfect way to end things) but it was big enough. About sixty of you showed up, and we talked, funnily enough, about weddings. There had been very little discussion of weddings at any tour event other than San Francisco, but in LA most of the questions were about weddings. So, I ended the tour talking about what the book is actually about. And making jokes, and trying to not let my mom totally take over the proceedings with her stories. Ha! Moms. We love them. And afterwards, one of David’s older cousins came up and told me that I was officially the funniest person in their family. And the swear-iest. Two designations I’ll totally take.

And then, I started signing books, champagne cork after champagne cork was popped, and the real party started. Shotgun Shirley’s baby snuggled up with Brandi’s baby. People made new friends. People talked to old friends. People toasted. And an hour in, I walked over to the fantastically lovely bookstore ladies, to ask if I needed to round everyone up and shoo them out, and they told us it was a Sunday afternoon and the store was ours. They had two questions though: could I sign some books for them to give away to (sometimes crying) brides, and could they have some champagne? And obviously the answer to those questions was a huge yes.

So thank you LA (and the couple that drove in from Las Vegas, and the other couple that drove in from Phoenix!). You were beyond lovely and the best possible way to end the tour. And please, tell me your stories from Sunday afternoon in the comments.

But that’s not quite all. Because… drum roll please… Rory of Rory Gordon Photo made two totally amazing short videos of the event, so tomorrow, everyone gets to experience the book tour, just a little bit. Till then, mwah, and thank you.

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://gonetobudapest.wordpress.com Emily Rae

    This looks like a wonderful way for you to end your tour. The green of your shirt is fabulous, too. And I love seeing all the venues around the country, especially the non-bookstore ones! (Though goodness knows I love me a bookstore.)

    • meg

      This is a bookstore! Vroman’s is the major independent bookstore in Pasadena. They just have a section next door that sells their wedding books, along with wedding-y stuff.

      • http://gonetobudapest.wordpress.com Emily Rae

        Aha! The name threw me. I do like the idea of a big ol’ wedding section.

  • http://www.lucyguest.com YOULOVELUCY

    “I sort of startled when she said that, thinking about how much I wanted to be friends with a bunch of creative awesome women a few years ago, and how much that dream has blossomed into a reality.”

    Also something I keep wanting/dreaming about. Time to make a new post-it.

    • meg

      POST IT! They do the trick every time.

  • http://weehermione.blogspot.com Hayley

    1. This = love: “I sort of startled when she said that, thinking about how much I wanted to be friends with a bunch of creative awesome women a few years ago, and how much that dream has blossomed into a reality.”

    2. That outfit! SO FAB.

    • Katie

      What you can’t quite tell from the pictures is that the pencil skirt was cut through with silver threads. SHIMMER!

      • http://weehermione.blogspot.com Hayley

        I need this entire outfit even more now. GUH.

        • meg

          It’s not really an “outfit.” It’s just a dress :)

  • http://www.budgetfairytale.com Mindy

    Haha, I spy my green sweater! This was such a fun event and I was too shy to ask my question but I’m glad I went and heard you speak, Meg. The book has helped me so much. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed or panicked about our upcoming wedding (3 months!!!!), I just read a chapter of your book and feel normal again. It was lovely to meet you and also meet Dana (two of my blogging heroes in one day, omg). Thanks for ending your tour in LA and thanks to Vroman’s for hosting and all the lovely ladies involved with making the event so amazing.

  • http://www.jandrfoods.com Rachel

    The LA event rocked!

  • http://elissarphotography.com Elissa

    Happy sigh! This looks like a wonderful way to end the tour. :)

  • April

    Darling, Meg!!!! Absolutely THRILLED to bits I got to hear you speak and meet you as well. You’re way cute and funny in-person (not that there was ever any doubt of that). Me and the mister had to drive back to San Diego rather immediately and I’m sad I wasn’t able to linger, schmooze and have some bubbly with you and everyone there.

    Wishing that San Diego had a bookstore like Vroman’s – what a rad place! And the room we were in had such an incredible energy in it – even my husband commented how the space was “buzzing” with excitement. And to sit amongst the APW crowd, surrounded by the pretty papers in Vroman’s and your book – correction – STACKS OF YOUR BOOKS, was so incredible. Way to go, lady!!!

    After we left, I was sort of in a daze that I’d met you – I felt a bit star-struck, truth told! You’re amazing and lovely and hilarious. THANK YOU for the hugs, photo op, and signing my book which rests prominently on my coffee table at home. XOXO

    • meg

      I wish we’d gotten to HANG OUT. Next time, in San Diego, over tacos, mkay?

      • April

        Ab-so-fuckin’-lutely. :-) With margaritas! XO

  • mb

    I love those wedges! can I ask where a girl could find a pair??

    • meg

      Thank you! They are Seychelles, if that helps. Last season. I bought them with the first of my book money, so fitting that I wore them here.

      • Henny

        I found them! They’re Seychelles Greatest Hits Wedge Sandal. They’re on sale at endless.com (http://bit.ly/ymEab0). Meg, I’m going to wear these to my wedding!

  • http://jeniferf.wordpress.com Jen

    Oh!Yeesh! There we are. I feel famous. That was the first book signing I have ever been to. BEST EVER. My husband said on the way home, I expected to hate that, but it was AWESOME. And Meg, you are ridiculously awesome with ridiculously awesome friends and colleagues, get used to it.

    – Jen (the girl with the British husband)

    • meg

      Oh husbands! Of course he didn’t hate it, he got to be part of a joke ;) And thank you, you are too lovely.

    • http://www.twitter.com/babyinabar Shotgun Shirley

      Ahahaha, my husband was pretty skeptical as well. He was pleasantly surprised though… and got to bond with David over Berkeley-ness, aww!

  • jessie

    EVERY time I read all these awesome posts from the book tour, I get sidetracked by two separate thoughts:

    (1) I really, really hope she comes to Toronto.

    and

    (2) Holy Hannah, Meg is ridiculously stylish.

    Seriously, at every event you look fabulous, and it appears not to be one amazing outfit, but rather your general fashion sense and smokin’ hotness. I am tres jealous (tres, because I’m Canadian. COME TO CANADA!).

    • meg

      Oh, you. FLATTERER. I picked up this dress at the Austin stop. To be fair, I don’t dress like this every day. PUBLIC Meg dresses like this. PRIVATE Meg wears a lot of jeans. And David has family in Toronto, so you never know! one day!

  • http://www.roguebride.com Rogue Bride

    I had the best time – and Meg, you are FUNNY. Funny in all CAPS kinda funny – that was a real treat. Love your book, and I’m shipping one of the signed copies to my friend in Singapore tomorrow, and one up to Christie O in Mammoth. My copy, of course, is right by my bed where I’m reading it slowly, when I need it to keep my head above water in my own wedding plans. Cake tasting this weekend – if they throw shortening in there, I may hurt someone.

  • http://chilingwang.com Chi-Ling

    Meg, you are very funny. It was great to finally meet you and hear you speak. Glad LA could provide a fitting end to the awesome book tour. Happy homecoming.

    • http://www.rorygordonphoto.com rorygordon

      I also wanted to add it was really awesome to shoot with you and Jessica! You guys are the tops.

      • http://jessicaschillingphotography.com Jessica Schilling

        Yes! So much fun to meet Chi-Ling and see Rory again! I hope there are more APW photo dates in the future!

        Meg, so great to meet you! You are even more charming and hilarious in person. And I loved all the swearing! Made me feel kind of at home in a way.

        • http://elissarphotography.com Elissa

          I’m loving this love.

        • http://chilingwang.com Chi-Ling

          I didn’t see these comments until this morning. I was ecstatic to meet and photograph with both of you. Until next time!

  • Laura

    I am enthralled by your fabulous outfit. That green!

  • http://www.pixelfilmstudios.com taylor dedonato

    I love the glimpse of the behind the scenes ! And the creativity is beautiful! great work!

  • Sarah P

    I just really would like to know if there is a rolled-up sock inside that bun ;)

    • meg

      *Of Course* there is. I’d have to have hair down to my waist to get a bun that size otherwise, and I have super thick hair.

    • http://elissarphotography.com Elissa

      I think I just learned an awesome beauty secret. GENIUS!

      • Karen

        How in the heck do you put a sock in a bun? I’ll have to go check this out on youtube, surely somebody has a video of this, right???

        • meg

          Oh my god you don’t need a video. So easy. You just cut out the toe and roll it into a (free) bun donut. Pin your hair down around it and done. You do need pretty thick hair though, to cover a big bun donut.

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

      I only recently heard of that trick, but I wondered the same thing. Then I decided that, no, Meg’s hair would look that way without any help. Too funny that someone else wondered the same thing. (And fun to know that it did indeed involve a sock.)

  • Claire

    The shoes! The outfit!
    Okay, now that I got that out, this makes me really want to focus on growing my own friendships with inspiring women.

  • http://thelittlefella.tumblr.com Jessica

    As we drove away the hubs said “She is really funny. I liked her a lot. I’m bummed you didn’t have that book a year ago.” I told him that luckily I had the blog, because what I realized most at the signing is how all the people there were really on board with the vision of how a wedding is really just a day and that the marriage is really the payoff. I also loved Meg’s answer to the question of “How can I invite people just to the ceremony and not the reception?” Which of course was, you cannot.

    Meg- I had no idea you were from the IE/909/SB. I loved the ren-faire/gang analysis. Like in most places in SoCal there’s always something cool right next to something really not cool.

  • Cass

    I think maybe Meg is the baby whisperer. My husband is one too. Now I’m imagining him and Meg wrangling a ranch of babies. It’s quite humorous.

    • meg

      Ah. Yes. That’s what my husband calls me. I’m better with babies than I am with anything else. Public speaking and writing included. Give me a ranch of babies. I will wrangle them happily. Juggle them with spitup and make them laugh.

  • http://www.myhonestanswer.com/ my honest answer

    Oooh can’t wait to see the video! I need proof of your funniness and sweariness!!

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

    I am so glad my husband and I made the five hour drive down!! It was so worth it!!!! I thoroughly enjoyed the entire shebang. Meg, you are wicked funny and super personable. Echoing April here but I am so with her, Thanks so much for the hugs, photo, and the opportunity for a small chat!!! It was truly awesome to get to meet you and experience your energy.
    What you said in this post about wanting to meet and befriend awesome creative women is exactly where I am at right now. Not only did I want the chance to meet you and hear you speak, but I absolutely wanted the opportunity to meet and mingle with other APW ladies as they are a smart, sassy, creative bunch. I had the BEST time on Sunday. Words cannot even describe how energizing and inspiring the whole event was. I am so grateful you took the time and energy to do this book tour. Hugs!!!

    • meg

      You are awesome, and were awesome. Hurrah!

  • http://www.moderndaymoments.com Sarah Anderson

    Meg, It was great to hear your fun personality in person. I am so happy Christy Taylor introduced me to you and APW. I really wanted to come over and chat more with you, but after catching up with Lana (stay tuned: Christy Taylor will be shooting her wedding in Oct.) I had to jet off to a shoot. Anyways, as I was listening to you I had this great idea I would like to include the APW book with one of my packages! It would be such a great book for all my soon to be brides. Where can I order a case?;)
    Thanks for you LA stop.

    • meg

      Lots of sponsors are doing that (I love them!). Honestly the rate on Amazon is so far below the cover price of $16, that you’re probably best off ordering there. I can get you a discount for 25 books or more, but it might not even be lower than that!

      • http://www.moderndaymoments.com Sarah Anderson

        Yeah, I figured as much. I’m a studio manager for a fine art photographer who has a coffee table book and AMAZON basically gives the book away. We tell everyone the same thing basically better to go through them.

  • http://www.twitter.com/babyinabar Shotgun Shirley

    But you didn’t talk about how the last question (good job Katie) was the best of all! Not enough time to type it all out, but basically – marriage is a choice we make EVERY DAY.

    Which has definitely been ringing true this week, and just with added baby stress in general.

    • meg

      It’s in the video, shhhhh!

  • http://www.twitter.com/babyinabar Shotgun Shirley

    And I am loving all the baby pictures!!! Those babies are gonna be friends. For reals.

    • Brandi

      Indeed they are! Can’t wait to get them together so they can pterodactyl scream at each other.

  • Brandi

    So glad to finally meet you, Meg. And sorry about the drool.

    • meg

      It’s cool. He had extra. He probably doesn’t miss it.

  • http://anaturalblonde.blogspot.com Jenny

    I’m so sad that I missed you actually speaking (we were booking it from Vegas) but it was SO good to actually meet you! And funnily enough you should know that I was ‘single’ when Becca asked me what to put on my post-it and then after explaining to the boy that you would ask why he came with me and would be confused by the situation he said “oh well then how ’bout you just tell her that I’m your boyfriend?” So you could say that your awesomeness helped make our relationship official which is so cool. Thank you for being so fabulous Meg!

    • meg

      AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

    • Ceebee

      YAY!!!!!!!

      I really loved that photo (2 photos) up there. First one the couple one the left were both playing with their phones, then the next they are kissing

  • Class of 1980

    I see Meg’s Mom and Meg’s Dad and Meg’s Shoes. I like those shoes.

    I hope your mom was telling stories about you! Ha!

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  • Katherine

    You are Hilarious, and my boyfriend said as we were leaving, “She is really funny!” I’m so happy we got to meet you. I was actually pretty happy with most of the questions being about wedding planning since we are “unofficially engaged” and don’t get to talk much about weddings yet :P I wish I hadn’t been so shy when we came up to get the book signed because I would have loved to talk to you about our wedding we’re planning, even though he is technically waiting until our anniversary next month to officially propose. I know you signed with your standard “pre-engaged” signature since you didn’t know us, but I was a little sad about the “or never” part. I did want to say though that I think your book is amazing and I know it will be useful as we plan our big day :D Thank you Meg for being so helpful, awesome, and inspiring!

  • Ashley

    Ohmygosh, we have the same pen. :-) It’s my favorite.