APW UK Takes Over (Thursday & Friday)

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Hi APW UK. Fancy meeting you here.

Remember that time APW got named a top British wedding blog by Channel 4, and I had to ask all my British friends if Channel 4 actually meant something, and then they all fainted? No? Right. Well, that’s because I didn’t bother to share it here, because I figured it would just confuse the Americans. However. Channel 4 didn’t make a mistake. There are loads and loads of Brits who read APW (at times that are really inconvenient for you), and we feature tons of British weddings. We even read How To Be A Woman for the APW book club, when it was still only out in the UK. The problem is, we’re always prattling on about these things as Americans, and really, what do we know? (NOTHING, BECAUSE I HAVE NEVER BEEN INVITED TO A BRITISH WEDDING, AND I AM VERY BITTER ABOUT IT.)

Now. This is the part where I say something horrifying, which frankly, you may already be used to. Americans are raised to think of the UK as, basically, “Like America, but across the ocean with accents.” I mean, you speak English, we speak English, you used to… what’s the word… own us… so we’re all the same, right? Needless to say, when David talked me into going to London (his favorite place in the world) for the first time, I was in for a huge shock. “It’s sort of like… Europe here.” I kept saying. “They don’t seem American at all!” Well, right. All I can offer as apology is the fact that I now love London so much, we’re dragging our kid there for his first birthday.

Well, that and the fact that I’m turning over the keys of APW to the British for both Thursday and Friday. I’m delighted to introduce the incomparable Kirsty of A Safe Mooring, who’s going to be taking over as the APW UK Guest editor for two days this week. In addition to ironing the Union Jack to get it starched and ready to go, she’s also grabbing the keys to everything: Twitter, Facebook, and even Pinterest (you should be really excited about Kirsty at the wheel over at our Pinterest page, she’s one of the best pinners around). Plus, she’s scheduling the posts on British time—you can look for APW posts at 7:30 am GMT, 11:00 am GMT, and 2:30 pm GMT. (And if you really like it, we should talk.)

Americans, tag along if you’d like (though for a change, this isn’t for you). The end of the week is some of the most hilarious and informative stuff I’ve read in a long time, so if you’re going to be stuck at your desk, this should really improve things. And, in case the indecipherable Olympics Opening Ceremony last year didn’t take care of this already, APW UK  should destroy the idea once and for all that the British are like us, but with cuter accents.

Without further ado, I give you Kirsty. (I’ve met her in real life. She has a way cuter accent than me.)


Sorry, Meg, just let me check I’ve got this right. Are you telling me that you, as an American, are going to celebrate your country’s independence from its tyrannical British overlords by handing over control of your site to a British person? You’re giving the keys to the enemy? And you’re EXCITED about it? Well. Let’s just say it’s a good thing this British person has a well-developed sense of irony, and no intention of renaming the site the United Kingdom of Practical Weddings. (Yet.)

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, hello there APW! I am just as excited as Meg about this crazy, potentially traitorous idea. The truth is, the WIC is not an American-only phenomenon. Couples on my side of the Atlantic are facing all of the same pressures, costs and difficulties, with added helpings of tradition and crippling politeness thrown in for good measure. The overwhelming relief at finding APW about a month before my own wedding is something I will never forget. What’s more, I know I’m not alone—this site has a huge readership in the UK. However, while many of the discussions we have here are universal, there are times when goodwill and a lifetime of watching American TV will only take us so far in understanding what on earth you’re talking about.

Now is our chance to redress that balance. For two whole days, A Practical Wedding will be brought to you by the letter ‘u’ and the suffix ‘–ise’. There will be British weddings, British vendors, British style, British voices, and hopefully some fascinating conversation with my fellow British readers.

That’s not to say the Americans aren’t invited to the party, of course. Come, be the Andie MacDowell to our Hugh Grant! The Cora to our Lord Grantham! The Jerry Hall to our Mick Jagger! It’ll be fun, I promise. I’ll see you there.


Photo of the Union Jack by APW Sponsor Kara Schultz; photo of Kirsty by APW Sponsor Lauren McGlynn.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com. #NASTY

Staff Picks

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • Moz

    Yay Kirsty! We’re so lucky to have you!

    Seriously guys, it’s going to be a good few days.

  • CeeBeeUK

    Yay! Such perfect timing! I’m American, my partner is English, we live in Scotland. I’m thoroughly confused but super excited about this evening party bit where we can say the more the merrier and invite all our friends and co-workers!

    • Leslie

      Oh thank god someone else is doing this too! I’m an American engaged to a Brit and living in London, and I’m already getting the “you can’t invite people ONLY to the evening bit” combined with “you want to do a rehearsal dinner?”. Traditional judgement from both sides! I can’t wait to see what APW has to say about UK weddings

  • vita_trefusis

    As a Canadian living in Scotland, I find this really exciting! (but don’t forget us smaller, northern neighbours!)

    • CeeBeeUk

      Ooh, another Scotland based North American!

      • Also American living in Scotland, though I always feel flattered when people think I’m Canadian.

        • CeeBeeUK

          I work PT in phone support and received a repeat caller who described me as ‘a girl, I think she was Canadian…’

  • Kirsty you’re so awesome. This is going to be a delight, I can tell already.

    • “This post is brought to you by the letter ‘u’….” aahhhaaaahaaahah

      • Rebecca

        as a Canadian, let me say THANK YOU for posting this Thursday and Friday when we’re at work! And the letter u – how I heart u!

  • Sam A

    wheeeeee!!! Who knew? As an ex-pat South African living in London, reading my favourite (US) blog at 2am… I thought I was the only one.
    Super excited!
    And, you know, should you *ever* need a UK based… well, anything.. (cough) (cough) I am available.
    (I make a wicked cup of tea)

    • meg

      Pretty far from the only one. London is one of our biggest readership cities.

      • Sam A

        Sooo… when you guys coming over to visit (officially) and spread APW goodness in person then?

        • Sarah T

          London meetups! We should do it.

          • meg

            You guys SHOULD do it.

            We’ll see. We’re going to be on *vacation*, so you know.

  • Stella

    Yay! So excited about this!!!

    • marbella

      Weird, you tricked me into thinking I had replied! Arizona living Brit reporting here. Dont forget the Irish too l, I recommend you to all my Irish sister-in-laws to be!

  • Frances

    Yay Yay Yay!

    Kirsty is brilliant. APW is brilliant. The combination can be nothing but brilliant.

  • AliceMay

    As a Brit about to marry an American in a somewhat anglophile US church, serving an afternoon tea reception (with bunting. And English tea rose napkins), and with a brilliant showing of British Wedding Hats, I am beyond excited about this :)

    • Abby Mae

      Oh gosh… That sounds like a blast and a half!

  • Elissa

    If happy hour is happening at 2:30pm GMT, that means 10:30pm my time (Western Australia), ie I could actually play along! That would be cool.

    • Hypothetical Sarah

      Oooh, and that’s 9:30pm here in China. Exciting!

  • Sarah O.

    Shame this is only coming 25 days before our American-Australian wedding in the UK! I’ve used the book, website, and Pinterest from the very first days of my planning, and wish all later-than-me brides the best of luck!

    (Also, feel free to feature our wedding: after all of this research, it will RULE! :-p)

  • B (the other one)

    YAY! I’m an American living with in Cornwall and my partner and I just got engaged last week! No more lurking! I can’t wait to have APW in British time, although it is nice to check on lunch break, I normally end up waiting until the next to catch up with the later posts!!

    Hopefully there will be tons of great vendor recommendations!

  • See, I was raised to think of the UK as Europe…but in English (sort of). Anyway, as an American who has to work the holiday because her tyrannical British boss doesn’t believe in independence, I’m excited for the end of this week.

    Fair warning: I will probably make very American “what is a hen party and why would you bring chickens to a bachelorette party” type comments and I apologize in advance. Ok, probably not that bad but possibly close.

    • That’s a hilarious question! We may or may not have a post lined up for exactly this kind of thing, so stay tuned…

    • CeeBeeUK

      I’d wear something ridiculous in protest. I’m wearing my fourth of July dress (see also jubilee and Bastille day dress)

    • Brenda

      All bachelorette parties should have chickens.

      • Peabody_Bites

        At my hen do, I was dressed as a chicken for part of the day, in a full on chicken suit with a rubber head.

  • Yay, Kirsty taking the reigns of APW for 2 days, I am so excited and happy and curious about this :)
    And I love the UK… every time I am there I feel home.

  • Emmy

    I’m from the U.K marrying my USC fiance in August and relocating to the U.S this summer. APW, this is awesome!

  • Aww, guys! You are too kind. I hope I can live up to the hype. Gulp.

    Also, who knew there was such a huge APW contingent in Scotland? Time for another meetup? Just putting it out there…

    • Ashleigh

      yes please :-)

      • CeeBeeUk


  • As a rampant anglophile, totally pumped about this! (Though, yes, the Fourth of July aspect is pretty ironic. And hilarious. I love it.)

  • Emma T

    Yeay! I’m a longtime UK reader (married almsot 4 years ago, eep) and still check in – love the Reclaiming Wife stuff and Meg mothergood updates too.

  • dawn

    This should be fun. My brother’s wife is English. She and and maid of honor are having a “hen do” for me. She and my brother got married in England. I’m still not sure what was traditional and what was just them! The family-only rehearsal party, although it ended up including some American guests due to the (apparently at least somewhat American?) idea that if someone flies across the Atlantic they should be included, featured punting on the Thames. The wedding was at 2 immediately followed by a reception, and almost everyone stayed until 11 pm. Maybe my American friends have less party endurance than average, but I was surprised at how long people stayed. Typical?

    Also, although I’m on EDT, my computer is on GMT +1 (don’t ask). So it is excited about the end of the week!

    • CeeBeeUk

      Yes, apparently these lengthy parties are typical. I think I’m going to need a nap.

  • Peabody_Bites

    This is going to be awesome. I cannot wait. Says this dual US/UK citizen living in London whose heart migrates to the Canadian shore in the summer.

  • carrie

    In order for this to really work, I’m going to need accompanying recorded audio spoken by Kirsty and her British brethren. Because everything is better with a British accent.

    Not possible? Then I’ll just read it with a British accent in my head. That will do.

  • Lottie


    I’m a British reader and I get so jealous when I see the beautiful vendors you promote that I can never have. So I’m looking forward to seeing what UK ones you uncover as I’ll actually have a chance to use them!

  • Brenda

    Yay! American living in London here, getting married to my British husband (again!) on Sunday.

    I’m planning to recommend APW to all my vendors to help build the UK vendor listings.

  • Emily

    *Clutches pearls* What would George Washington say?!?!?!

    Juuuust kidding. This’ll be awesome.

  • Mayweed

    WOOOOOOOOO hoooooooooo…….

    Which is to say: I’m British, married two and a half years ago and APW is the ONLY wedding related site I still read. THIS IS AWESOME.

  • Liz


  • JB

    This is brilliant! I am a reader in the UK and would love to see more British-based stories – especially with my wedding in Cornwall only a few months away :)

    When I started following wedding blogs, way back at the beginning of my two-year engagement, they were mainly US blogs, and I really had to search to find good UK ones, in the end I stuck to a couple core UK ones for some inspiration and practical vendor advice, and a couple great US ones for keeping my sanity (this being one, obviously)!

    • CeeBeeUK

      UK blog recs please?

      • Brenda

        Whimsical Wonderland Weddings has a slightly terrifying name but features lovely UK weddings and nice writeups of how they chose things. Also I love RockNRoll Bride.

  • Charis

    I’m a brit and I live I the UK but I actually work 2pm- 10pm GMT (when the Dow Jones is open, I’m in financial news) so the timings are actually going to be strange for me lol!

    I’m an avid APW reader but would love to have more UK input, sometimes I feel like UK weddings are even crazier than US ones with the ‘traditional’ 1pm start and the 1am finish and all the food you need to provide with that!

    This is going to be great, so ta very much, APW loves (as we’d say in Yorkshire!)

  • Kate

    Yeah!! Am a Northerner in London, married two months and still read APW an awful lot :)

    As the Olympic Opening Ceremony was one of my favourite things in the world ever (we even played some of the soundtrack during our wedding breakfast, ahem), I’m hoping we’ll be heading more for that representation of Britishness rather than drowning in Union Jacks and Beefeaters.

    • meg

      Are you saying that the Union Jack dress I made Kirsty is INAPPROPRIATE?

      But lets be serious. Girlfriend is scottish. If the two of us are going to get together over a drink, it’s going to be Whisky, not Beefeaters (something I’ve never had in the UK ever. Or, actually ever-ever.)

      • Sarah

        You should look out for these beefeaters when you’re in London:


      • If I say I don’t drink whisky will you revoke my privileges?

        A cool, crisp glass of white, on the other hand…

        • meg

          Secret American. Tsk, tsk.

      • Peabody_Bites

        You definitely should not be drinking Beefeaters (even if you were going to drink gin). Not a good gin choice.

        Good British gins – Hendricks, Sipsmith, or Portobello Road.

        • MEGSDAD

          Thank you, Peabody_Bites. When I was young, I gave up Beefeaters for Bombay.. This was considered quite radical in the U.S. of the time. I now drink Hendricks (but I Americanize it by keeping it in the freezer for martinis). Thanks to you, I will try to hunt down Sipsmith and Portobello Road.

          • Peabody_Bites

            My dad (also American) does the same with his Hendricks, but can occasionally be persuaded into gin and tonic with cucumber.

            If you happen to be really into gin – I also absolutely love Williams gin (also known as Chase gin), which makes an excellent martini. It has quite limited distribution, but get Meg to get you some in Waitrose when she is in the UK!

          • Kate

            Ha yeah, I meant the wardens rather than the gin! Beefeater gin is a load of crap. I’m a Bombay/Hendricks lady meself, everyone has excellent taste here :)

    • LondonSarah

      I actually tried to explain the opening ceremony to a couple of Americans (note the ‘of’ you US people when you’re speaking English on Thursday and Friday, and different ‘to’, not different ‘than’; it is not English that you speak) when we were on honeymoon in California. Hilarious. There was nothing I could say that made it make sense. Of course that it was 11am and they were propping up a tasting bar in Sonoma may have had something to do with it…

      So very much looking forward to this, bring on the sarcasm! And the postings in the middle of the day that mean I might get significantly less work done… ahem.

  • Yay! As an Irish-based reader I’m pretty excited for this – maybe we can even take over APW for Paddy’s Day (NOT Patty’s – don’t get me started) sometime.

    • Bulba

      Another Irish-based reader, getting married this Christmas (and yeah, most of the weddings here go till 3 or 4 am…)

      Great idea to take over for Paddy’s Day – Irish weddings are kind of a law unto themselves!

  • Lia

    As one of your London readers, all I can say is – HURRAH!

    Thanks APW, you’re awesome :)

  • Louise

    Getting married in Kent on the 13th of this month- loved APW, love the British take over even more (if that’s possible!)

  • Kathy

    So, I’m American but I watch Doctor Who, so can I hang out? Also please please please do a post on British weddings hats/fascinators/whatever. I love them so much, and find them so bewildering. How to make one? When/why/where to wear one? I’m FASCINATED by them. …I’ll show myself out.

    • YES. HATS. Kirsty, if you don’t do a headpiece round-up UK style this week, you will OWE us one.

  • Amy

    I’m from Mid-Wales, and APW is my absolute favourite wedding blog in the world! You guys rock (and give the best advice ever!) xx

  • I fully support this u-ing of words. It’s colour, people, colour.

  • Jo

    Yay, Kirsty!! Can’t wait!

  • fancytits

    I’m very excited about happy hour on UK time. I’ll be having high tea (aka lots of champagne & a few finger sandwiches) to celebrate.

    Go, Kirsty!

  • Martha

    I’ve always thought of the U.K. as a good place to “get my feet wet,” so to speak, if I ever venture to Europe since they speak English!

    Three cheers for the Downton Abbey reference!

  • Love that so many of the excited commenters are American ex-pats or British peeps marrying Americans.
    I’m another long time UK APW reader, since Meg’s wedding planning days, and before I was engaged myself. Also used the book when planning our wedding. Would be great for your not yet married British readers to get some APW advice on the way things are traditionally done over here. As Kirsty brilliantly put it, the crippling politeness is a tough one to crack!

    (For those of you commenting on the lengthy days – we were married at 9:45am and went right on through to past midnight. Exhausted doesn’t cover it.)

    • meg

      I know for a fact we have a lot of british-british readers. Some of them email me often, even. I just think they may be… less of… the excited commenter variety. Kirsty would know better.

      • Oh I wasn’t disagreeing with that! Just loving that many of those commenting have some US factor to them. So very British of us, not wanting to be all excited.

  • HOORAY! Posts on European time!!!
    Although all this UK talk is making me want to visit!

  • Del678

    Like many Australians, I’m half English. I have some English relatives coming to the wedding later this year. One asked “Should I wear a hat?”. No, hats are generally not worn at Australian weddings. Apparently they are REALLY big in England, even with the lack of sunshine… :) I want to hear more about those little things! There also an English lady at work who mentioned something about little charms that get hung on brides… what’s that all about?

    • Tea time

      I am a half english Aussie too so mum and I hatted it up at my sisters wedding! I felt so posh, haha. Was a good opportunity to get out my races hats that hardly ever get worn! As for the charms, they are quite common here, although less so with our generation I suppose. Usually they are horseshoes (in fabric) that get hung on the brides hands after the ceremony is complete.

      I am fully celebrating my English heritage at or wedding – english style house and gardens, Pimms, Downton Abbey photo booth, old English style lolly buffet etc!

  • Yay as a Brit I can’t wait for this!

  • Grace Roberts

    Hello, I’m British and I’ve been reading APW religiously for a few months now. I just wanted to say that I live the APW UK idea, but just to reassure you, I think most of the discussion around weddings and marriage is relevant to any culture, not just American culture. I would LOVE to see some uk sponsors though!

    And ps. Anyone who thinks England is a mini America must visit NOW. You will be surprised but I know you’ll love it.

  • I’m so absolutely delighted to see this. I’ve been telling every single client of mine to visit this blog. We need you here (Ireland) too!

  • Caz

    Yay! This is all sorts of awesomeness! I’m a British girl marrying American man in England next April. I’ve already had several emails from American guests worried about the Hat situation…

  • Kate

    For the record, that is one of my mother’s dish towels, which I put over my dress when I wasn’t sure if I could iron it directly. This all happened in Wisconsin. :) Thought I’d share the story behind the picture. (And while I am sad that a picture of my face didn’t make it, at least one of the wedding pictures did. Go Kara!!)